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Blake and Chance Cut Teams More Than Half on THE VOICE Season 23 Playoffs Premiere!

Pictured: (l-r) Manasseh Samone, Ray Uriel, Sorelle -- Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

“The Voice” Playoffs premiere featured Team Chance and Team Blake whose artists performed for their coaches’ votes.  Ultimately, at the end of the episode, Chance the Rapper and Blake Shelton had to select which two of their artists they would be taking to Semi Finals, Live shows.

Every artist wanted it badly and raised their games. But some of them – Kylee (Team Blake), and Manasseh (Team Chance) let their nerves get the best of them. Others, who left it all out on the stage and performed with ease and confidence included: Grace West (Team Blake), Ray Uriel from Team Chance, and Noivas from Team Blake.

Out of the five members on their teams, only two moved on to the next round, the Semi Finals.  There are no Steals, and no passes.  The earlier Playoff Pass winners also performed for their coaches vote in an attempt to win for those two spots per team.

Team Blake and Team Chance teams took turns performing.  At the end of the episode, Blake and Chance had to choose the two artists they’d be taking to the Semi Finals.  Blake said “these decisions are tough and it’s sad that this is the last Playoffs that I’ll ever get to do.”   He joked, “But, Kelly got me fired!”
Blake’s first artist was Noivas, who was formerly on Team Chance.  Blake said Noivas takes-over the room.  

NOVIAS (Team Blake)

Pictured: Noivas — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Novias chose “Come Together.”  Blake said the cool fact of Noivas is that he comes in looking like a rancher, but performs cool Rock songs.  Blake said if Noivas “can just get the wildness under control, this is going to be another killer performance.”  Novias told Blake that he felt like they have a lot in common.  Blake and Novias both lost brothers.  Noivas was 21, Blake said he was 14 when he lost his brother.  They bonded over that.  Novia said he didn’t get “fearless” until after he lost his brother.  Novias said he came there to make it to the live shows and plans to leave it all on the stage.  

Niall called it one of the best performances he’s seen on the show.  Chance said if it was up to him, he would send him “right ahead.” Kelly said she had no idea how he wouldn’t make it and would be shocked if she didn’t see him in the finale. She said he was “shredding with the guitar.”  Blake said an “overall eruption” happens on the stage when he gets up there.  His singing was incredible.  The way he performs is “a bit wild” which works for him.  Blake said Novias set the bar for the entire competition.

Blake said it’s painful to cut his Team so much each time.  “A lot is riding on these Playoffs” and they’ve cut their teams in half a couple of times already.

KAYLA BANHAM (Team Chance)

Chance Stole Kayla from Team Niall, and called her his “blessing in disguise.”  Kayla said she was a vocalist in a jazz band in high school.  Kayla chose the song “My Funny Valentine.”  Kayla said some people might think that jumping from coach to coach can be a disadvantage, but she has learned something “so unique” from each coach. Chance said Kala brought a new feeling to the song, and in rehearsal, he started to cry.  He said “I have no idea what’s happening to me emotionally right now.”  He called it the best Steal to have ever happened on “the Voice” even though it’s his first time on the show.

Blake reacted that “it was actually perfect” and Chance HAS to put her to the next level.  Niall said that the song was made for her and “that’s just different level now.”  Kelly called it “beautiful, dark and inspiring..all the great adjectives.” Chance called it crazy that she slipped through two other coaches fingers.  Chance said “Kayla was insane.”  Her ability to shape songs to fit her own aesthetic and feel.  



Rachel was his last Steal (from Team Kelly). He called her his “alternative dark horse” on his Team.  The Playoffs was Rachel’s first time working with Blake Shelton.  “The Only Exception”  is the song that Rachel got.  Rachel comes from a family of writers, and she also writes.  Rachel has written ten songs. 

Rachel got emotional when she said she couldn’t believe she’s still on the show because she didn’t think she’d make it past the Blinds. Blake said if Rachel can make sure she’s consistent throughout the song, it will be a standout performance. 

Chance said there were moments where she got a little pitchy, but she caught herself, and he thought it was an awesome performance Kelly said she loves how big and open her voice is.  Niall said that low register stuff (if you’re anywhere nervous) can scare the life out of you, but she got through it. Blake said She threw a monkey wrench into the whole thing for him.  He said she did an incredible job and swung from the fences.  Blake was blown away by her.  Kelly said she got bummed thinking that maybe she made a poor decision in letting Rachel go.



Chance said Jamar has what it takes after the show, and called him his ‘veteran.”  Jamar chose “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King.  Jamar chose this song because it’s a song he grew up with, hearing his parents play in the household.   He said this song means to him “every moment I felt in music, bye, bye.”

He said those auditions he didn’t get, etc. “Every moment that I failed in music, bye bye because I’m here in the Playoffs.”  If he can lead the band and keep his identity front and center on the stage, then he can see him in his top two. 

After Jamar’s performance, Kelly yelled that he’s incredible.  She added that when he plays, it’s like his body is singing with his voice. Blake told Chance that he thought he needs to move Jamar forward because it’s his show! Niall told Chance, “Jamar’s you guy.” Chance said his favorite thing was his interaction with the band.  It’s the last time that he gets to pick who’s going to be on Team Chance and he just made a really strong case.  He “just showed-up.”  Chance said he has no idea how he’s going to pick only two.  

GRACE WEST (Team Blake)

Blake said Grace has a pure Country tone that takes him back to his favorite time in Country, the 80s.  Grace is his last Country artist.  Grace is only 19-years-old and already has a publishing deal in Nashville. He said she’s only one step away from being heard on the radio.  Blake gave her “Love is Alive” by the Judds.  Grace said she’s never sung it, but knows the song.

She showed off her guitar that she got from her grandpa, and takes it everywhere with her.  Grace said it’s like having family with her.   Blake said Grace fits in what’s happening in Country music.  Blake said it’s leaning more traditional than it has in years.  Grace said to be able to represent Team Blake in the Lives would be a dream come true.  Blake told her to go out there and be Grace. 

Niall reacted that he’s been a massive fan since day one and thinks that Blake should send her through. There;s no doubt she’ll have a career.  He said she has an authentic voice.  Chance said she has great control and a great sense of self.  If he was Blake and wanted to win the show, he’d go with Grace.  Kelly said she’s 19 years old and sings all this great music that she grew up on.  She has a flawless way of singing Country music that it’s in her bones.  She didn’t think this song showcased the best of her.  

Blake didn’t like what Kelly said and it didn’t make sense.  Kelly said that song didn’t do Grace justice what she’s capable of.  Blake said the fact that she’s the last person that he hit his button for it’s exciting to him,and she did another great performance.He said she’s been consistent every time, and being pure Country, makes his decision tougher. 



Chance’s Playoff Pass artist Manasseh Samone.  Chance said he’s waiting to win the whole thing with her.  Chance called her his secret weapon. “Speak the Name” by Karyn Hawthorne, a previous ‘Voice artist.  Manasseh didn’t have her father in her life and lost her brother.  She recounted a story about her brother who had HIV.  Manasseh brought the gospel to Team Chance.  Chance said when she gets on stage, you feel the lyrics, you feel her talent and connection to Manasseh.  Chance told her that she is leading worship with this and told her to “be vulnerable.”  Manasseh said a gospel artist has never won and she’s ready to smash it.

Pictured: Manasseh Samone — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

After her Playoff performance, Niall reacted “that was insane” and he could sense her nervousness at the beginning, but then really lived up to her Playoff Pass.  Kelly told her that “it looks like a finale moment right now that’s happening on stage.  She told Chance “good luck!”  Blake said she had shaky parts in the first half, then when she cut loose, she put it together in the end.  He said, Chance knows what she’s capable of.   It’s a “tough one” for Chance.

Chance said there’s people at home who are watching with tears in their eyes. Because she just professed the name Jesue in front of ten plus viewers at home. The fact that she didn’t make it on the show, came back and now singing a song by a previous contestant who sings gospel. ‘It feels very ordained,” and the “coolest thing” he’s seen so far.

KYLEE DAYNE (Team Blake)

Blake said she blows the roof off the place every time.  He called her his “surprising Pop star.”  Kylee sang “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus.  Kylee told Blake that she just sings in her bedroom and not out in public.  Blake was shocked.  She was inspired to sing the song for her mother who when she got divorced had to learn how to “do things” without a man.  

Blake said Kylee is an artist that could fit in on the radio right now.  Blake said she definitely has a vision for something that’s super impressive that doesn’t have any experience.  She called her mom a “girl boss,” and wants to honor her mom and “slay” her performance.  Blake didn’t understand the meaning of “slay.”  At the end of her performance, Kylee made it known that she had a mess-up and made a face of annoyance.  She picked-up and kept going.

Chance called it a cool choice for a song and it was a great performance.  Kelly said she knew Kylee wasn’t a hundred percent at the end and even though she missed a couple of things, “it was still a solid performance.”  Niall said Kylee challenges herself with newer songs.  Niall would like to see her make the Lives because she always brings something different.

Kylee said this environment is really new for her.  Blake told her not to beat herself up and she did a great job.  He said she’s been solid this entire season and it’s something he’s going to take into account when making his decision. 


RAY URIEL (Team Chance)

Chance called Ray his “settle soul singer.”  Ray chose the “Essence” song.  He said this song wants to make you want to dance and it’s a feel good song. Ray said music saved his life.  He said it wasn’t easy for him to make friends when he was young and did get picked-on a lot.  When he went to a performing arts school, he was free to be himself.

Chance said his ability to change up a song is Ray’s strong suit. Ray said it’s really cool to see how fast Chance comes up with stuff and really liked seeing him in his producer element.  Chance said any one of his artists “could and should win the show.”

After Ray’s performance, Kelly said his voice is like the angel she would want to sing to her and called his tone broken and sweet.  Blake said he turns the sound that is on popular radio right now, back to the 90s.  He told Chance “you got to put this guy through!”  Niall said he could watch him every week.  He called his tone “so good” and compared it to Frank Ocean.  Niall advised Chance to send him through.

Chance said Ray walks around with this effortless cool, and kudos to him.  Chance said Ray gets better and better each week and could see him winning. Chance is looking for someone who stands out and it’s about America and who they want to see win.  He wants individuality and confidence. 



Pictured: Mary Kate Connor — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Blake’s Playoff Pass was used on Mary Kate Connor.  Blake said she knows what she wants to do and is fearless about it.  He called her his “fearless young talent.” She chose the song “If I Die Young.”  She said she’s excited to do this song with drama and used her theatre background to hone in on this performance. Blake told her that he loves that he can hear all the tiny things that she does in the song.  

Kelly told her that she’s a magical storyteller and should get into acting as well.  Niall said “this is different” for her and the tears at the end he could tell it meant something to her.  He told her he was proud of her.  Chance said there were moments when her pitch was off. but so much emotion it was his favorite performance from Team Blake.  He said with her going for the soaring high notes shows that she still trusts in her voice, in her gift.  He said if she was to go to the lives, she would kill it.  

Blake said she delivered the message where it was believable.  She proved that she deserved his Playoff Pass.  

SORELLE (Team Chance)

Sorelle is the only group left on the show.  Chance said they are his “mini choir.”  They have the ability to make the most beautiful harmonics he’s ever heard.  Sorelle said they loved burlesque as kids.  It was one of their favorite movies, so the song they chose was always playing in their house. They chose”Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James, the Christina Aguilera version.  Sorelle said Chance has taught them so much about stage presence and how to incorporate their harmonies to lift a song.

Chance said if they can keep that identity as a trio and keep it uniform, they can end up in the Top 2.

Blake reacted “come on, this is cheating.”  He said it’s too perfect.  He asked Chance if he’s putting them through.  Niall asked them what they listen to?  Kelly asked if they listen to 40s’ music.  They said they do and they study that.  Kelly told Niall that’s why they sound like that. Kelly said what they do is “fresh” and doesn’t sound like anyone else.

Chance said they’ve been so receptive to all the notes and they smashed it.  They played with Harmonics and “really went for this one.”   Chance called it the hardest decision of his life.  


Blake Shelton chose his two picks first.  All of his artists arrived back to the stage to hear Blake’s decision on which two artists would be representing him on the Live show.  Blake said to go out with five amazing artists, he can’t he couldn’t thank them enough and would have quit a season before if he knew how much this sucks. 

Pictured: (l-r) Grace West, Kylee Dayne, Mary Kate Connor, Rachel Christine — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

BlAKE’S ARTISTS:  Novias. The second artist that Blake chose was Grace West.
That meant Kylee, Mary Kate, and Rachel went home.  He said Grace is the real deal. “She is pure Country.” He called her the perfect country artist to have for this moment 

Team Chance came out next.  Chance told his Team that he was incredibly proud of all of them and “everybody from top to bottom should be winning this show.” 

CHANCE’S ARTISTS: Sorelle.  He said there’s no other Sorelle on the show. He can do arrangements and vocal splits. almost like a choir. The next and final artist chosen by Chance was Ray Uriel.  That meant we lost Manasseh, Kayla and Jamar.  Chance said what Ray brings to the show is himself.  

Pictured: (l-r) Manasseh Samone, Ray Uriel, Sorelle — Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC



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